I recently sat down with a long time friend and confidante Kead Wikead as he was preparing to celebrate his 35th birthday and 20 years in the music industry.
MM: What inspired you to pursue a career in music, and when did you first realize that you wanted to become a DJ?
KW: I always loved music as I was a dancer from the 90s. What got to me was the songs stopping during a step. Then I heard Oskido’s Church Grooves Volume 1 with all the seamless mixes! I was hooked!
MM: Looking back at the past 20 years, what do you consider to be your proudest achievement or moment as a DJ?
KW: Winning a National award but there are lot more moments to talk about! Can’t highlight one or the other.
MM: How has the music industry changed since you first started out, and what challenges have you faced as a result?
KW: Access to music is now better. But now we have to sieve through tonnes of tracks to find the diamonds.
MM: Who are some of your biggest influences or inspirations in the music industry, and how have they impacted your work as a DJ?
KW: Other DJs that do what I can’t do. They push me to be a better version of myself everyday.
MM: What sets you apart from other DJs, and how have you developed your own unique style over the years?
KW: My passion for the music is my unique selling point. Over the years this has made me pick out certain tracks that wouldn’t have made it to a playlist… And they stand out.
MM: Can you tell us about a particularly memorable event or performance that you’ve been a part of during your career as a DJ?
KW: Castle lite Block Party, Miller DJ Battle, Kudu Bar NYE party.
MM: How do you stay up-to-date with the latest music trends and techniques, and what advice would you give to aspiring DJs who are just starting out?
KW: I always keep an open mind but remain mindful of my music collection. The worse thing is making 60% of your collection obsolete .
What is your creative process when putting together a set or mix, and how has this process evolved over the years?
It always starts with research and understanding the other acts in the line up. From this I always come up with 3 possible outcomes or sets. It hasn’t changed much because it’s all about music selection and placement (how to mix and blend).
MM: How do you balance your personal life with a demanding career in the music industry, and what strategies have you found to be most effective for managing your time and energy?
KW: Sometimes just switching off the phone helps or just not being visible to the rest of the world, but this only buys me a few hours because they know my landline and other line. It’s all about not overdoing anything.
I still struggle with balancing the two. Sometimes I spend days and important holidays/events away from home because a booking would have come through.
MM: Looking ahead to the future, what do you see as your next big challenge or goal as a DJ, and how do you plan to achieve it?
KW: I wish to be able to do more intimate gigs where music and the DJ are key. These should take more of my time other than the more demanding sessions.
MM: What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career, and how have you overcome them?
KW: Equipment has always been an issue in Zimbabwe. Most of the other issues could have been resolved with a little knowledge and understanding within the industry equipment has always the tough one to overcome.
MM: How do you keep your performances fresh and innovative after all these years?
KW: Appreciating that times change and always telling myself that a 1% improvement everyday is a great start. With music being easily accessible nowadays I have to make sure I’m at the top of my listening game.
MM: Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or collaborations that you have in the works?
KW: An Album is coming, definitely. I worked with the Legendary Vusa Mkhaya and a friend of mine, McSus on some of the tracks. I have party I host with Eldinero Media called Riddimz N Brews that we do every other month. But alot more projects are coming as we have a few concepts in the pipeline.
Kead Wikead’s 20th Anniversary & 35th Birthday party has been rescheduled to the 17th of April. Catch him on the 1s and 2s as the party continues!